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Secondhand Love

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“My name’s Hinata Shouyou and I’m 9 years old, almost 10! I love sports... an-and um-” The tiny redheaded child trailed off overwhelmed as a classroom full of stares, watched him in front. It was the first day of 5th grade but he was as small as a third grader still, it was getting obvious at this point his lack of height compared to others. “Are you sure you’re in the right class, midget?!” A tall but thick boy shouted from the back as others laughed. The teacher quieted the class but couldn’t help but be a bit baffled himself.
“Yeah! Midgets can’t do sports either, you can be a cute mascot, though!” The bully’s friend added laughing, the class following as well again. “Maybe there’s a midget team?” “Yeah! They probably make everything smaller to make shorties feel normal!” “Maybe he can join a girl’s team!!!” Laughter gradually grew louder and more obnoxious than the weak-willed teacher could manage to tame.
Big brown eyes grew wide in embarrassment as they quickly glossed over. Hinata bit his bottom lip holding back tears as his small body shook. Tiny knees quivering together like his hands. The world started to blur in the small boy’s mind as his stomach grew tense and before he realized it, he was releasing this morning’s breakfast all over the floor.


That certainly did not make things any better.



“NO!! I-I never want to go back!!” Hinata sobbed in his mom’s arms. “Shouyou… I’m so sorry! I thought everybody would love you as much as I do!” His mom hummed hugging him sadly and also angry that children could be such pathetic jerks. “Should I talk to the school?” She added with a softer voice and yet Hinata hid his face silently in her shirt. The young woman sighed softly with saddened eyes and hugged him tightly, kissing his forehead gently. Her orange eyes lighting up suddenly as an idea flickered in her mind, she knew what to do to lift her son’s spirit up again.


“Where are we going, mama?” the short boy blinked as he kept pace with the young mother. “Going to go get an early birthday gift!” She almost sang eagerly, just as expected her son’s eyes were shining like the sun. “Really!?!” he gasped excited and quickened his pace abruptly. “Where!? Where!?” “We’re almost there!! Haha, slow down Mr.Speedy. Now close your eyes, it’s a surprise remember!” She gleamed and he anxiously obeyed.
Finally, after a couple minutes, he felt his mom stop. “Open your eyes!” Hinata heard as his eyes shot open, “Huh?....WAHHH!! The huge sports store that pro’s use!?” “Yeah! I and your father agreed on letting you pick three things… n-nothing crazy expensive, though!! Haha,” his mother giggled. She also could’ve sworn that two suns would shoot out her child’s eyes.


“Okay, mom said three things… b-but there're SO many cool sports to choose from!!! Like basketball, swimming, ice skating… but-” the boy stopped in his tracks, he was not far from his mom who was looking at treadmills for the baby fat she still wanted to lose after Natsu.
Hinata fumbled with his hands as a sudden wave of sadness washed over him, the mean word’s of stupid bullies flashing through his mind. He walked down an aisle absentminded. They were right, though, he could never be good at any cool sport being as small as he was. What good could someone like him be to a serious sport with serious people with serious talent?
Lost in thought, he didn’t realize that he walked headfirst into someone else. “Oof! Ah, s-sorry!!” Hinata gasped flailing his small arms. The other regained their self and gave a small smile, “it’s okay! Hey, could you help me get th-” the slightly taller boy with short black hair began to say but stopped at the sight of the other. “Erm! Nevermind s-sorry,” he mumbled as Hinata frowned anyways, “cuz I'm short, huh?” Hinata’s eyes seemed suddenly fierce and almost dark, startling the other, “ ah s-sorry! ... Wh-What did you want anyways?” Hinata mumbled disheartened but covered it up the best he could.
Even though the other boy quickly saw past it but brushed it off for the other’s sake. “Ah.. oh! That Legend Grand Volleyball up there! I really want it!! No, I need it!” The black haired boy’s dark blue eyes lit up passionately. Hinata stared astonished, he was almost inspired just by that boys passionate and determined glare at the ball.


“Volleyball? What’s that about?” “Wha? You don’t know about volleyball!? It’s the best sport!! My uncle is a professional player!! I’m gonna be better than him one day too!! I can’t believe you don’t know it!” The boy exclaimed baffled like he saw something supernatural, Hinata stared back slightly embarrassed and astonished there was a sport he didn’t know much about. “Well, it sounds cool! I wanna be in sports too!! But I’m well- s-short and small… what sport could I ever be good at?”
“You shouldn’t let one thing distract you from true greatness and potential, maybe you’re just good at something else! Anyways I really need to get that ball but I don’t know where my parents are at!” The boy sighed as he looked up at the ball high above them. “I tried jumping but it’s too high, I need to get better,” he shouted clenching his fists.
“Jumping? Lemme try!” “But you’re shorter than me you couldn't-” silence met the other instantly as a gust of wind blew past him, shutting his eyes. When he opened them he caught sight of a small boy with packaged said ball in his arms, landing. “I got it!” He gleamed in shock himself.
“How… that cool!!!! You’re amazing!! But- WAH!!” The taller boy stared awestruck with a slight blush. “That’s the highest I’ve ever jumped!” Hinata hummed oblivious to the other’s shock, noting his personal record. “Tobio, did you get what you wanted? I have a meeting soon” a voice erupted and a tall young man with black hair and bright blue eyes appeared. Hinata gave the boy the ball, “oh! Here you go, good luck in your volleyball dreams!!” The other blinked and nodded bashful as he started to jog off but stopped, “You really should check out volleyball!!” he flashed a toothy grin and ran off hugging his ball tightly.


‘Volleyball?’ Hinata thought as he hummed intrigued in his mind as he looked up at the pretty ball. ‘I wonder how it works but he was tall… so maybe not for me? But… he seemed really cool…’ Hinata couldn’t help but feel a smile crawl on his face as he clutched his chest.
“Oh, what a strange array of items, are you all ready?” “Yup!!” Hinata gleamed as he grabbed the bag that contained: new sports shoes, big book of sports, and a pretty legend grand volleyball.


Months passed and the ball remained unopened in Hinata’s closet. He learned more about volleyball and slowly began to fall in love with it. Never forgetting the boy who inspired this passion in his heart first of all. He woke up one Saturday and leaped off his bed and stretched full of energy. Weekends were a safe haven from his wretched 5th-grade class and also meant more deserved sleep!!
Big brown eyes met the slightly opened closet across from him as the beautiful unopened volleyball sat on a shelf inside. Images of the passionate taller boy flashed in Hinata's eyes as he clenched his fist, eyes sparkling. His heart raced as he walked up to the ball and gleamed at it slyly. “Well, it wouldn’t hurt to open it” he hummed grinning. Which he did like a madman, freeing the glorious ball. It was like destiny smacked headfirst into Hinata, well more like he smacked into destiny himself little did he know.


The volleyball was tossed into his trusty bike’s basket as he himself leaped onto the seat after bidding his mom bye. He was 10 now and allowed to bike to the local park and stores on a certain path that passed his father’s shop midway.
Hinata began biking to the park, only to pass people staring at a TV through a store’s window. Curiosity took him as he stopped and looked at what was going on. His eyes quickly lighting up as it was volleyball, “oh is this karasuno’s game?” “Yeah the Crow’s VS. the Nekos!” “Where are we at?” “14-8 but Nekoma is quickly closing the gap!” Hinata heard various adults say but his eyes went back to the TV. Karasuno? Nekoma? As in the big high school’s next to a few others? So this was a big volleyball game!
“Here comes the little giant!” Someone shouted along with the announcer. Hinata’s eyes grew wide as everything else seemed to freeze. The “Little Giant” was small and short like Hinata yet there he was...he was flying. So, so beautiful and yet intimidatingly fierce. It was all so much as it hit Hinata just like that moment with that boy, destiny. He remembered to breathe as he flustered in awe. Inspiration coursing like adrenaline through his small body.


“I’m gonna be like him.”